A student walks past Temple's motto on Main Campus.

Lew Klein

Lew Klein—Trailblazer at Temple and Beyond

The story of Lew Klein and Temple University goes back several decades.

It was 1952. The fledgling television industry was fighting radio for superiority in America’s living rooms. It was the year Klein started teaching television classes at Temple, helping in his own way to secure the future of the industry he loved so much.

image of Lew Klein.

Photo by Joseph V. Labolito

Over time, Klein helped to launch the careers of some of the biggest names in television. In the professional world, Klein was a programming director for Triangle Group stations and co-founded Gateway Communications, owner of four CBS television stations. He served as executive producer of the landmark program American Bandstand and he was the producer of Phillies baseball telecasts for 15 years.

In 2017, the Klein College of Media and Communication was named in honor of the broadcasting pioneer and his contributions to the university and in recognition of a historic, multimillion-dollar gift to the school from Lew and Janet Klein. The Kleins also recently donated their archives to Temple University Libraries. This collection of videos, news articles, photographs and much more offers a firsthand glimpse into the history of television to Temple’s students and scholars.

The university has honored Klein by naming the main performance space of the Temple Performing Arts Center Lew Klein Hall. The Kleins also have been recipients of the Russell Conwell Award, an award given annually for outstanding volunteer and philanthropic service. And of course, he was the first recipient of the Lew Klein Excellence in the Media Award, given annually since 2000 at Klein College’s signature event. Lew Klein passed away at the age of 91 on June 12, 2019.

Lew Klein Awards

The Lew Klein Alumni in the Media and Excellence in the Media Awards were established through the generosity of H.F. (Gerry) and Marguerite Lenfest and Walter and Leonore Annenberg through the Annenberg Foundation to celebrate outstanding members of the media whose achievements bring honor to their profession.